Governors on graft charges face the fight of their lives


Governors on graft charges face the fight of their lives

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi, Kiambu and Samburu governors face the fight of their lives as the year draws to a close after they were charged with graft.

In Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s woes, experts have pointed out, cold see service delivery grind to a halt next year since he has no deputy.

Mr Sonko, who faces 19 counts of corruption-related charges including corruptly receiving more than Sh25 million through proxies, was early this month ordered to stay out of his City Hall office until the case is determined.

Kiambu’s Ferdinand Waititu and Moses Lenolkulal also lost a case at the Court of Appeal last week where they had sought to be allowed to access their offices during the trial on graft charges.

Constitutional lawyer, Kibe Mungai said that the ruling puts Nairobi in a difficult position owing to lack of a deputy to take over the affairs.


“We have difficulties with the situation in Nairobi. The issues are partly political but the law does not envisage a situation where an executive office does not have a substantive holder,” Mr Kibe said.

Mr Sonko has been without a deputy since the resignation of Polycarp Igathe in February last year.

Unlike Mr Sonko, Mr Waititu and Mr Lenolkulal have acting deputies who have since assumed leadership ensuring that operations run smoothly.

Mr Lenolkulal is facing charges of conflict of interest where his fuel firm Oryx Service Station supplied petrol and diesel to the county leading to the loss of Sh84.6 million.

Mr Waititu has been charged with irregular awarding of Sh588 million tender for the upgrading of various gravel roads to bitumen standard.

Constitutional lawyer Peter Wanyama, however, poked holes into the implications of last week’s ruling saying that the trio has not been explicitly barred from signing documents that need the governor’s signatures.

Mr Waititu and his Samburu counterpart had appealed Justice Ngugi’s ruling. The Court of Appeal upheld her ruling and now Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) have set in motion plans to kick the embattled county chiefs from office.

Kiambu MCAs last week unanimously voted to impeach governor Waititu. In Nairobi ward representatives have been mulling impeachment of Mr Sonko saying that his continued stay in office is untenable as it will impact negatively on service delivery.

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